Globalism is not a new phenomenon. More than 500 years ago, ships carrying explorers—and later, goods and enslaved people—connected the entire world as never before. Situated between Asia and Europe, the colonial Americas stood at the center of the first large-scale worldwide trading network. This gave rise to a new global artistic culture that brought together materials, styles, and skills from around the world. Dazzling Peruvian cabinets with mother-of-pearl and tortoiseshell inlay (late 17th–early 18th century) and portraits of Boston merchants wearing opulent silk attire show how migrants to the Americas brought up-to-date fashions from Europe and Asia, which intermingled with local artistic traditions. From Quebec City to Lima and Boston to Mexico City, the regional styles that developed out of these interchanges came to define cosmopolitanism in the colonial Americas and the European empires that controlled vast territories throughout the hemisphere.
- Croll Family Gallery (Gallery 134)